The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) said on Thursday nine eligible states in the northern part of the country have been targeted for the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) to eliminate the scourge of malaria this year.
The National Coordinator of NMEP, Dr. Audu Mohammed, who disclosed this at a meeting with stakeholders on the review of 2019 round of SMC and proposed 2020 round of intervention, said the exercise is already taking place in Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara States.
He added that Bauchi, Borno, Kano and Kebbi States have been added to the programe which is aimed at reducing malaria burden in the country.
The 2018 World Malaria report showed that there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide with 53 million annual cases in Nigeria contributing to 25 percent global burden.
The report said with 81,640 deaths annually, Nigeria accounts for 19 percent of global malaria deaths.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Head of Case management, NMEP, Dr. Nnenna Ogbulafor, added that the SMC scale-up exercise is focused on expanding its implementation so that more children would benefit from the exercise.
He said: “By 2020, we will cover the nine Sahel states. Last year, we did six states and it was not a full coverage, but in 2020 we will have nine states, which will give us more impact.
“These are states that have a peak period of the malaria disease especially during the rainy season, which starts July to October.”